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Pronounced: car-DUHR-uh
Generic name: Doxazosin mesylate

Why is this drug prescribed: Cardura is used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition in which the prostate gland grows larger, pressing on the urethra and threatening to block the flow of urine from the bladder. The drug relieves symptoms such as a weak stream, dribbling, incomplete emptying of the bladder, frequent urination, and burning during urination. Cardura is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is effective when used alone or in combination with other blood pressure medications, such as diuretics, beta-blocking medications, calcium channel blockers or ACE inhibitors. Doctors also prescribe Cardura, along with other drugs such as digitalis and diuretics, for treatment of congestive heart failure.

Most important fact about this drug: If you have high blood pressure, you must take Cardura regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Cardura; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Cardura does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take this medication: This medication can be taken with or without food. Cardura should be taken exactly as prescribed, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Try not to miss any doses. If this medication is not taken regularly, your condition may worsen. If you have benign prostatic hyperplasia, you should see improvement in a week. Blood pressure will fall in 2 to 6 hours. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Cardura. More common side effects may include: Dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache Less common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, abnormal vision, arthritis, constipation, depression, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, eye pain, fluid retention, flu-like symptoms, flushing, gas, increased sweating, inability to hold urine or other urination problems, indigestion, inflammation of conjunctiva (pinkeye), itching, flushes, joint pain, lack of muscle coordination, low blood pressure, motion disorders, muscle cramps, muscle pain, muscle weakness, nasal stuffiness, nausea, nervousness, nosebleeds, pain, rash, ringing in ears, shortness of breath, thirst, tingling or pins and needles, weakness Rare side effects may include: Abnormal thinking, agitation, allergic reactions, altered sense of smell, amnesia, blood in the urine, breast development in men, breast pain, breathing difficulties, changeable emotions, changes in taste, chest pain, confusion, coughing, decreased sensation, dizziness when standing up, dry skin, earache, fainting, fecal incontinence, fever, frequent urination, gout, hair loss, heart attack, hives, inability to concentrate, inability to tolerate light, increased appetite, increased thirst, infection, loss of appetite, loss of sense of personal identity, migraine headache, morbid dreams, nighttime urination, pallor, prolonged erections, rapid pounding heartbeat, sexual problems, sinus inflammation, slight or partial paralysis, slow heartbeat, sore throat, stroke, tremors, twitching, urinary disorders, vomiting, weight gain, weight loss, wheezing, yellow skin and eyes

Why should this drug not be prescribed: Cardura should not be taken if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Cardura or such drugs as Minipress or Hytrin. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you may have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: Cardura can cause low blood pressure, especially when you first start taking the medication and when dosage is increased. This can cause you to become faint, dizzy, or light-headed, particularly when first standing up. You should avoid driving or any hazardous tasks where injury could occur for 24 hours after taking the first dose, after your dose has been increased, or if Cardura has been stopped and then restarted. In rare cases, men taking drugs such as Cardura have developed priapism--a painful, long-lasting erection that persists for hours. This condition can lead to impotence, so if it occurs contact your doctor right away. If you have liver disease or are taking other medications that alter liver function, your doctor will monitor you closely when you take Cardura. Cardura may lower blood counts. Your doctor will most likely monitor your blood counts while you are taking this medication. This medication may cause you to become drowsy or sleepy. For this reason, too, driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness is not recommended. Prostate cancer has some of the same symptoms as benign prostatic hyperplasia; your doctor will want to make sure you do not have cancer before starting you on Cardura.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: No significant interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Cardura during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Cardura may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with this medication is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Your doctor will adjust the dosage to fit your needs. The usual starting dose is 1 milligram taken once a day. To minimize the potential for dizziness or fainting associated with Cardura, which may occur between 2 and 6 hours after a dose, your doctor will monitor your blood pressure during this period and afterwards. After the effects of the starting dose are measured, your doctor may increase the daily dose to 2 milligrams and then, if necessary, to 4 milligrams, 8 milligrams, or, in people with high blood pressure only, up to 16 milligrams. As the dose increases, the potential for side effects such as dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, and fainting also increases. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of this drug in children have not been established.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. Although no specific information is available, low blood pressure is the most likely symptom of an overdose of Cardura. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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